Women of the Midwest Kayak Clinic


Ladies of the Midwest (MN, WI) . . . FLUX athlete Heather Herbeck will be visiting your area on May 24th for a beginner/intermediate kayak clinic.

Details can be found here.

To register, please click on the following link:


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2-hour Flatwater Session $50

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Ladies, laughs, learning . . . and, no Boys allowed!

logoThis year, the FLUX team has come out with some truly amazing opportunities to get women outdoors ~ either by trying something BRAND NEW, or challenging themselves out of their comfort zone in their current sport.  Our goal is to empower women, not hold their hands; to inspire confidence, not dependance; and, to instill curiosity for various avenues of outdoor adventures!

Our first of many coaching series has come to a close.  The “Race Training and Conditioning for Women” series wrapped up this weekend and we couldn’t be more stoked about what we saw happen throughout these 4 workshops.

We have teamed up with “Next Adventure” and the “Northwest Creeking Competition” to get the local PNW ladies ‘fired up’ and ready to compete in some fun competition on local rivers.  We have noticed that there are many ladies who are capable of competing in the races, yet lack the confidence, themselves, that they can ~ so, FLUX is here to excite those ladies and reassure them.  We also see many, many ladies who are ‘up and coming’ . . . by this time next year, they will be ready to race and these ladies are SUPER fired up!!!!

A quick overview of our Race Series:

Workshop #1 – Training Off-Water

We set up camp in the classroom at Next Adventure Paddlesports Center.  Heather Herbeck, ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness and Sport Evolution, shared movements to work on mobility, stability, strength and power and flexibility specific to kayakers.

workshop2 workshop3 Workshop #2 – On-water Basics

Next we headed to the Washougal for some Kayaking 101.  Our technique can only improve when we go back to the basics.  Our racing can only get better when our technique is more efficient.  SO . . . back to the basics we went.  We covered the forward stroke, correctional strokes, efficient and effective eddy turns and peel-outs, paddling strong through rapids and found some cool little surfing spots (surfing is the #1 indicator of good boat control).

Iri stoked on a good day!

Iri stoked on a good day!

Workshop #3 – Mental Training for Sport

Sports Psychologist, Brian Baxter, from Sports Psychology Institute of the Northwest came as our guest speaker to share the floor with Heather who has done multiple presentations on “The Kayaking Mindset”.  This session talked about ‘changing your focus’ when you start feeling nervous or doubtful.  We also talked about Meditation (quieting the mind) right before going to bed, visualizing things you want to improve (For example, visualizing 10 solid rolls on each side), repeating affirmations (positive statements about yourself that MAY or MAY NOT be true at the time, but you want them to be) and coming up with your POWER words (like STRONG, FUN, POWER) that you repeat in your head when you need to psych yourself up.

Brian Baxter discussing the mindset of athletes.

Brian Baxter discussing the mindset of athletes.

Workshop #4 – East Fork of the Lewis Race Line Training

We spent the day on the race course.  Our first lap we took our time warming up, practicing the basics, picking out our lines and running laps on certain rapids.  We took video of most of the lines over some of the bigger rapids, analyzed them and walked back up to try it again.  Our second lap was more of our “race lap” though we stopped for a quick breather above the larger drops, reassured each other that we were solid on the lines, set safety when needed and rallied through.

FLUX athlete and co-instrutor, Lana at Sunset Falls.

FLUX athlete and co-instrutor, Lana at Sunset Falls.

We couldn’t be more stoked about this series . . . they are just going to get bigger and better.  Who wants in on our next series?????  Let’s get it!!!

A BIG thanks to our supporters ~ Next Adventure ~ for this amazing partnership.  We helped get a handful of women on the water and are stoked to continue to play our part in getting them stronger and progressing their kayaking skills and techniques.


FLUX Pool Clinic, numero uno!

The vision of FLUX is to encourage women to strive to reach higher; go further; and, to push personal limits.  This could mean so many things to different people.  Everyone has their own limits; their own goals; their own journey; but, we want to empower YOU to be YOUR best and try new, amazing things.

We LOVE kayaking!

We LOVE kayaking!

Flux recently held their first instructional class on Saturday, February 22nd in Hood River, OR.  This was a 2-hour class focusing on the basics of whitewater kayaking:  sitting in a boat, exiting an upside down kayak in the pool, edging, strokes, bracing and hip snaps. (Stay tuned for our next blog entry that will give YOU and all the participants the “notes” from the pool clinic, so you can practice on your own).

Joanne helping to outfit the kayak, one of the most important things to do ~ fit properly.

Joanne helping to outfit the kayak, one of the most important things to do ~ fit properly.

The crew of ladies eager to learn!

The crew of ladies eager to learn!

Being "one" with the water!

Being “one” with the water!

Kim Becker coaching from the sidelines.

Kim Becker coaching from the sidelines.

The women who participated in this clinic ranged in skill from beginner to intermediate.  Everyone had a blast and went away with better knowledge about kayaking, more confidence in their abilities and giving new things a try, new connections and friends and some free schwag from our friends at PocketFuel.

Tune in for future FLUX instructional series ~kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, mental conditioning, physical conditioning, surfing, kite boarding ~ We do it all!  Plus, we ALWAYS like to have fun when we get together!

Girls ~ well, these girls ~ just wanna have fun! Flux athlete Kim Becker and Susan Hollingsworth

Girls ~ well, these girls ~ just wanna have fun!
Flux athlete Kim Becker and Susan Hollingsworth

A special thanks to our support:  CherryBomm, LLC; Ninkasi Brewing; Kayak Shed; Columbia Gorge Kayak School; and PocketFuel.  And we cannot forget the amazing instructors and athletes that played a huge part in the success of the clinic ~ Susan Hollingsworth, Lana Young, Kim Becker, Joanne Gallagher ~ these women are true ambassadors of the sport and FLUX.

Until next time . . .

Whether you experience success or failure . . . it’s all part of that journey to become the real YOU.  Go out there and try new things and broaden your minds.

See you on the river,

Lana Young

WOMEN’s only ~ Kayak Race Training & Conditioning Series

Being aggressive is a learned thing.

Being aggressive is a learned thing.

The FLUX athletes have teamed up with Next Adventure in Portland, OR to lead a series of workshops to get YOU ready for the NW Creeking Competition, April 12 & 13th.

Workshop #1:  “Off-Water Conditioning for Performance” ~ March 4th

Workshop #2:  “Clean up your Technique for Efficient Paddling” ~ March 8th

Workshop #3:  “Mental Focus for Peak Performance” ~ March 18th

Workshop #4:  “Race Course Training ~ Breaking the race course down” ~ April 5th

COST:  Click HERE to reserve your spot.

Per Workshop

$25     Classroom Workshop

$125   On-Water Clinic

Full Series

$200    Includes ALL 4 workshop


$325    Includes 6 weeks personal coaching March 1 – April 12 along with the 4 Workshops.  We will connect via email/phone at least twice a week.

You will be able to participate in one workshop, multiple workshops, or ALL of them.  We definitely encourage all of them to get the full experience.

These workshop are designed for:

*  Ladies who want to improve their racing performance

*  Ladies who want to race for their FIRST time, but find it a little intimidating

*  Ladies who want to improve their kayaking skills, even if you don’t want to race (though we’ll encourage you to do so)  :-)

Please click each workshop link for individual descriptions and specific information.

But don't forget to have fun!

But don’t forget to have fun!

FLUX pool clinic ~ Hood River, OR

In partnership with the KAYAK SHED in Hood River, FLUX presents . . .



Christ Ohta Photography: http://www.chrisohta.com/

FLUX athlete, Heather Herbeck, will be leading a pool session for you to work on some paddling basics. It’s a little snowy in the Columbia River Gorge right now, so the pool is a perfect environment to improve your paddling skills.

Date:  February 22nd, 2014

Location: Hood River Community Pool

Time:  10:30 – 12:30 p.m.

Cost:  $35 includes insurance and pool fees (Remember:  10% of FLUX proceeds go to Betties360)/Cash or Check ONLY please.

Please RSVP here:  FLUX pool Clinic

Space is limited to 8 participants.  PLEASE email fluxwomen@gmail.com if you need gear.  Include your height/weight so we bring the appropriate boat size for YOU!  REMINDER:  Please RSVP on the Facebook page OR email fluxwomen@gmail.com IF you plan on being there.  Space size IS limited due to instructor ratio and pool space.  We want the BEST environment for YOU to learn in.

Lots of ladies in the pool.

Lots of ladies in the pool.

Level:  Beginner/Intermediate

Skills covered in the pool:

*  Edging, bracing, strokes, rolling

Gear:  We will provide your kayak, sprayskirt and paddle if needed

Please bring:  Swimsuit, towel, rash guard or wetsuit (because it always gets a little chilly)

Class size:  Minimum of 4 students

Hope to see you there!

Hope to see you there!

For more information, please email fluxwomen@gmail.com

Event Support:

kayak shedpfgorge

The Road to Sochi . . .

Heidi doing what she loves.

Heidi doing what she loves.

This upcoming March, during the 2014 Winter Paralympics, the sport of snowboard-cross will make its debut. Through a string of awesome serendipitous events I was given the opportunity to be a part of the first-ever women’s US adaptive boarder cross team and try for a chance to represent my country in Sochi.
For those of you who don’t know my story, I am a ‘below the knee’ amputee on my right leg. I was born with a birth defect known as Fibular Hemilia which left me without my fibula and the majority of my foot and ankle bones. I had what little of a leg I did have, amputated at 18 months and have been going strong ever since.

I first learned to snowboard at an amputee camp in Park City, Utah when I was 13 years old. I have been a pretty avid recreational snowboarder ever since. Up until last winter that is. In the early winter of 2013 I was introduced to the sport of snowboard cross [SBX]. For adaptive riders a SBX race consists of three time trials through a race course that consists of jumps, berms, and other various technical features. Riders run through these [on average] minute-long courses as fast as they can. The results are calculated by combining the two best times with the third tossed out. It is a wildly stressful and exhilarating experience that has brought my outlook and attitude toward snowboarding to a whole new level.
My first season of racing was a whirl wind of relearning how to ride, training air awareness and learning the rules of the crazy sport. Last year when my competition season finally rolled around I won an unexpected bronze at my first competition in Copper Mountain, CO; followed quickly by another third in South Lake Tahoe, CA. I found myself invited to join the world cup circuit with the hopes of earning a spot on the first US National team. I continued to perform well last season and ended up earning a spot on the first United States of America snowboard cross team.

The last few months have gone by in a blur. We have been traveling all over the world training and preparing for the season leading into Sochi. We have been everywhere from Mt. Hood, Oregon to Hintertux, Austria for team camps; when not training with the national team I have found myself on the snow five days a week in Winter Park, CO.

Two weekends ago marked the beginning of my competition season with back to back world cups in Copper Mountain. The excitement leading up to the event was indescribable. Everyone from all over the world had been working incredibly hard in anticipation of the upcoming games and it was time to find out where we all stood. After two days of competition I came out with a bronze on the first day and silver on the second. I shared the podium with 2 lovely ladies from Holland, Bibian Mental (1st on both days) and Lisa Bunschoten (2nd on day one and 3rd on day two).

In the past few months the women’s field of competition has stepped its game up significantly and is now more competitive than ever. We had our second round of World cups this past weekend in Big White Canada. I once again walked away with silver and a bronze. Bibian took back to back gold medals and my teammate Amy Purdy walked away with the medals that remained. With The Paralympics quickly approaching we have one more round of world cups in La Molina, Spain at the beginning of February. I cannot wait to see the excitement that the upcoming competitions bring!

See you in Sochi,
Heidi Jo Duce


Mexico 2014 ~ My second home

When I tell people I’m heading down South to go kayaking, they respond, “You are SO lucky . . . warm water, sun and hot temperatures!  I am so jealous!”  Little do they know I fill my bags with multiple layers of fleece, a drytop, drypants and always . . . ALWAYS . . . consider bringing my drysuit.


It has been about 7 years now that we have explored and returned to Veracruz, Mexico.  Throughout these years, we have been fortunate to get as far South as Chiapas for the 2nd descent of the Santa Domingo as well as the infamous river, the Agua Azul.  We have also visited rivers in the state of San Louis Potosi.  These 3 areas of Mexico are so completely different from each other, which makes it exciting to come back year after year.

My husband and I have spent most of our time on the Alseseca River near the town of Tlapacoyan, Veracruz, Mexico.  We have stayed in the city in the past, but in the last 4 years we have been invited to stay at Aventurec . . . and this place has officially become our second home.

The big draw for us to head to Mexico in January each year is the Alseseca Race, which is put on by Aventurec and Liquid Adventures Kayak School.  This race is in its’ 6th year and we’ve been fortunate to have participated in this race for 3 of them ~ 2011, 2012, 2014.  This event isn’t just a race, but a way to raise awareness of river conservation to the local community.  There is a big push to make the rivers in Mexico healthier, cleaner and appreciated by the people who live there.

From Day 1 of our travels in Mexico it rained . . . rained harder . . . and, then rained even harder.  As you can imagine, with saturated grounds and tons of rain, the river levels weren’t getting any lower.  We had very high water for that time of year, which changed the race course and made it much more challenging ~ big hydraulics, boils, big hits.

Pre-Race Edit by Sheer Madness Productions.

With over 60 competitors in the short and long races this year, I managed to finagle 3rd place in the women’s long race and 26th out of over 40 competitors in the long race.  It was a challenge, especially competing against some of the BEST paddlers in the world from the US, England, Austria, Costa Rica, Mexico and more!

Dave Gridley boofing a drop during the race.

Dave Gridley boofing a drop during the race.

Overall, I was stoked on my performance despite getting stuck in “Sticky hole” ~ a pretty gnarly hydraulic.  With the great safety in this race, I was pulled out immediately and flipped back over, downtream and continued my race to the finish line.

Safety at "Sticky Hole"

Safety at “Sticky Hole”

You don't even fight to get out of this hole.  You just wait, brace and let safety pull you out!

You don’t even fight to get out of this hole. You just wait, brace and let safety pull you out!

This great event brought many people to the river from the community and wrapped up with a pretty kick a*s celebration/awards ceremony in town square.

Locals coming out to watch the competition.

Locals coming out to watch the competition.

Award ceremony in town square, Tlapacoyan.

Award ceremony in town square, Tlapacoyan.

Enjoy the video by Sheer Madness Productions.

For more info about the trip, visit my Level Six post.

Peach Out,



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